Denver Broncos depth chart: Why is Jeff Heuerman the top TE?
The Denver Broncos released their first depth chart of the 2018 season, and Jeff Heuerman is the top tight end. What gives?
Denver Broncos tight end Jeff Heuerman has been in the NFL since the 2015 season.
He spent the 2015 season on injured reserve after unfortunately tearing his ACL in rookie minicamp.
He played a backup role in 2016 and 2017, showing flashes of his pass catching ability and athleticism after the catch.
He’s hauled in 18 total passes over the past two seasons combined, and entered the 2018 offseason (a contract year) as the Broncos’ top tight end.
After Vance Joseph threatened essentially to cut players like Carlos Henderson, who was missing practice with a nagging injury at OTAs, it was nothing short of shocking when the Broncos’ first depth chart was released, and Heuerman maintained his spot as the top tight end despite not having practiced the majority of training camp.
By the way, if you missed the Broncos’ depth chart release, we have a post here that looks at the starters, surprises, and more.
It’s important to note that the Broncos’ initial depth chart is just that — initial.
It’s not the final word.
There will be plenty of changes to the depth chart between now and the start of the regular season, and at this point, it would seem to be a bit of an upset if Heuerman ended up as the team’s number one tight end when all was said and done.
But why is he even opening as the number one tight end?
Sure, he’s the most ‘experienced’ guy the Broncos have, but this is a group of six guys with a combined 30 career receptions. It’s not like the playing field isn’t even when it comes to Heuerman compared to the other guys at his spot.
No offense to the former third-round pick out of Ohio State, but injuries have prevented him from earning this kind of ‘seniority’ in the fans’ eyes, and it’s odd to see a player like Jake Butt, working his tail off and even staying after practice, not open up as the top tight end on the depth chart to a guy who has literally not been practicing at all.
The Broncos seem pretty confident with Heuerman, or their confidence is a way of publicly masking the fact that he’s on the roster bubble and the team is hoping to find a trade partner.
One way or another, Heuerman is going to have to get out on the field and make plays or he will have little value to the Broncos or any other team in the league.